Author Topic: M.A.D's 'Alternative Australian Defence Force Order of Battle' Questions please  (Read 11293 times)

Offline M.A.D

  • Also likes a bit of arse...
  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
G'day gents

I don't know if this is the right/best place to have this topic (apologies to admin, if it isn't!), but I've made a start on my 'Alternative Australian Defence Force Order of Battle' (henceforth denoted as 'Alternative ADF ORBAT')

I don't claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but its my hope to make this as realistic as possible (in terms of monetary and capability, as far as Australia is concerned!). So if the forum would allow me, I will be leaning on the knowledge, experience, and expertise of forum members for they're inputs please.

The compilation of my our work will be compiled and put up in a chronological dated order in a stand alone post titled 'Alternative ADF ORBAT'!

A few guiding points that I have enshrined in my 'Alternative ADF ORBAT', is the ADF/Governments adherence to a non-risk approach to the selection and acquisition of weapons/weapons systems/weapons platforms (My continuous frustration and anger at the 'real world ADF/Governments unabated pathetic Post-WWII history of acquiring/committing to 'off the drawing board' weapons/weapons systems/weapons platforms... M60 GPMG, F-111, Collins Class sub, F-35 JSF...., I think Ive made quite clear and obvious!). So as much as I am happy to have a reasonable hybrid arrangement, I'd prefer my 'Alternative ADF ORBAT' not employing fictitious or drawing-board design proposals.

Geo-politically, I'll keep Australia in the Western sphere of influence (but not as in the pocket of Britain or America, as is the real-world case). So as much as I love Soviet/Russian weapons/weapons systems/weapons platforms, I'll have to forego big-ticket items like MBT, Kirov class battlecruisers and Typhoon SSBN's  ;)       

If I can I would like to start by asking the following first couple of questions:

Armoured Car
Im looking for advice ‘re an armoured car design of the early 1950’s era, for my ‘Alternative ADF ORBAT.’
Its principle role/mission being that of reconnaissance by force, direct fire support, and an anti-armour capability.
I perceive it needing to be wheeled for both endurance and cost effectiveness (both in terms of unit and running costs).
I perceive it having the minimum of a 75-76mm high-medium velocity gun, to perform all three of its principle combat roles/missions effectively, with equal emphasis on its HE and AT capability/performance!
Its armour needs only to resistant to 7.62mm – 12.7mm at best
It needs to have a realistic/sensible operational weight, as it will be the main component of the ADF’s RRF for the following two decades.
It will need good cross-country mobility, and be able to endure the hardships of the Australian outback, jungle/tropics environments.
Its not a necessity to be amphibious, although it would be advantageous.
Im locking forward to your input, suggestion and input.


Diesel Engine
Gents, I'm after a couple good, reliable and proven diesel engines immediately after the Second World War (excluding Soviet designs). Predominantly, I'll need one for tanks, SPH ..... and another smaller/less powerful diesel for the likes of APC's ...... (In particular something to power a tank the size and weight of say...a Centurion and one to power a vehicle the size and weight of say...a M3 Half track  ;D)

M.A.D   
 
« Last Edit: May 06, 2016, 08:00:23 PM by M.A.D »

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Armoured Car

Basically you have a choice of either ex-WWII stock such as the US M8 or Staghound armoured cars.  Alternatively, you have the British/South African Marmon-Harrington series.  Then you have the Australian Rhino armoured car.

From post-war developments you're faced with a choice of the following:

British - Saladin with 76mm gun.
French - Panhard (various models, mounting guns from 20mm up to 75mm)

There are no post-war WWII armoured cars (as in turreted vehicles) from the US.

« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 11:32:00 AM by Rickshaw »

Offline GTX_Admin

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I wonder how you would go having a developed version of the Sd.Kfz. 234 series?
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline apophenia

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The V-8 Meteorite was offered as a diesel. Why not just say that Rolls-Royce created a similar V-12 Meteor diesel adapation?

The only other British V-12 diesel I can think of was the 600 hp Paxman 12TPM ... but its a 58 litre brute! http://www.paxmanhistory.org.uk/paxeng34.htm#12tp

Greg's mention of the Sd.Kfz. 234 got me thinking German. How about the Daimler-Benz MB507 of 720-850 hp? I don't think DB ever restarted MB507 production but what if captured Schnellboote engines were reverse-engineering in postwar Australia? The MB507 is a little bigger than the Meteor but the Daimler's aluminum block would save weight.

During the war, the US used twinned Detroit Diesel 6-71s - the Model 6046 - in tanks and tank destroyers. Not enough power for the Centurion but would suit your SPH. Then you could use single 7.0L Detroit Diesel 6-71 engines in your APCs, etc. (and possibly 4.7L 4-71s in support vehicles).
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
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Armoured Car

Basically you have a choice of either ex-WWII stock such as the US M8 or Staghound armoured cars.  Alternatively, you have the British/South African Marmon-Harrington desires.  Then you have the Australian Rhino armoured car.

From post-war developments you're faced with a choice of the following:

British - Saladin with 76mm gun.
French - Panhard (various models, mounting guns from 20mm up to 75mm)

There are no post-war WWII armoured cars (as in turreted vehicles) from the US.

For an early 1950s service entry, you're looking at the Panhard EBR-75 (available 1951) as the French choice (the lighter AML series didn't come in until 1960 for export):

Available: 1951
Weight:    13 tonnes (14 short tons; 13 long tons)
Length:    6.15 m (20 ft 2 in)
Width:    2.42 m (7 ft 11 in)
Height:     2.24 m (7 ft 4 in)
Crew:   4
Range:   630 km (390 mi)
Speed    100 km/h (62 mph)
Suspension :   8x8 wheel

Armament:  75 mm high velocity gun (90mm option from 1963), plus 3 or 4 rifle-calibre MGs

Engine:    12-cylinder engine 200 hp
(engine position is unusual: possible cooling issues in Aus? They were used in N.Africa though)

"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
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Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Aircraft-wise, the obvious What If is to have the Aus government follow the UK example and cancel the F-111. The RAAF then keeps the leased F-4s and buys more to go with them. They might also buy the Buccaneer and/or join in the Tornado program.

The next big What If if the Mirage replacement. Given the strategic situation, if they've gone for the Tornado IDS, them they might well be persuaded to go for the ADV as well, at least for part of the force.
The other possible alternatives to the F/A-18 would be the F-14 (too expensive?), F-15, F-16 or Mirage 2000. Given that the F-4s would be relatively young and capable of air defence as well as strike, that might well push them to a lighter, cheaper option such as the F-16 or Mirage 2000. In the early 1980s, the military trade-off between the F-16 and the Mirage 2000 was that the F-16 was more multi-role and had longer range, while the Mirage had better speed and climb rate and BVR missiles as standard. Of course, there are other political, financial and industrial factors to consider.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Going back further to the decision to buy the Mirage IIIs, the alternatives there would have been:

F-104 Starfighter
Lightning
F-8 Crusader
F-11F Super Tiger (J-79 or Avon engine)

The F-11F was developmental, but it had done a lot of successful test flying on company money and was being actively marketed.

RAAF interest could well have stimulated earlier development of a longer-ranged, more multi-role Lightning.

The Crusader is an interesting and often overlooked option. It had less speed than the rest, but considerably more range, and as subsequent developments showed, considerable weapons potential. The gun installation needed fixing, but the A-7D showed how to do that. I do know that in Phillippines service, the Metallite skinning (plywood bonded between thin aluminium layers) had problems with humidity, so I don't know if that would apply in some parts of Aus too. Having said that, Vought engineers worked out a solution for the PAF (local veneers that were better adapted to the environment) on a shoestring budget, so I'm sure something could have been done for the RAAF.

On the whole, I think they made the right call going with the Mirage III, but it would have been nice if they'd gone for the Avon-engined version: much better performance (if significantly dearer) from an RAAF point of view, plus some nice engine sales for RR and quite possibly more export sales for Dassault.

« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 08:00:04 PM by Weaver »
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
As the Mosquito experience showed, the RAAF had real problems with timber skinned/structured aircraft in the tropics, which was where it expected to do most of its operations under the strategic thinking of the day ("Forward Defence").  The Crusader had a short life in the US Navy.  It entered service in 1957 and left service in 1976.  I somehow doubt there were many F-8As still around in 1976. 

Both the Lightning and the Starfighter suffered from too short a range, compared to the other aircraft.   The Lightning and Starfighter were still in their early iterations.  As you note, the F11F wasn't in production.   Both the Crusader and the Super Tiger were naval aircraft and the RAAF was not interested in the weight penalties that naval aircraft suffered compared to land based ones.

So, out of the five the Mirage was really the only suitable Mach 2 aircraft to choose IMHO.

Offline M.A.D

  • Also likes a bit of arse...
  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
Wow gents, I appreciate your reply, interest and input! ;)

Rickshaw your
Quote
US M8 or Staghound armoured cars
suggestion, I too seriously thought about these designs, but I was a little concerned with obsolescence, with the prospects of them having to serve up until the 1960's-70's.
 
Weaver, I like the idea of the Panhard EBR!! :P Its time frame is right on the money for what I want!!
But yes reading into its design/history, the location of its engine is unusual, and seemingly a nightmare to service, let alone replace (the entire turret needing to be removed first, before the engine can be replaced, is insane! :o)
But I just watched a youtube clip of the Panhard EBR, and noticed it has what seems a drivers position at both front and rear! So I'm wondering if it would not be to unfeasible to eliminate the rear drivers compartment and replace it with the "diesel" engine? I'm thinking of replacing its two retractable 'steel' wheels with rubber, so as to save overall weight. As a side note, when watching the youtube clips of the EBR, I noticed that the retracted 'steel' wheels seem to be constantly engaged. Does anyone know if they could be disengaged? They're constant running appears to induce unwarranted wear and tear on the running gear  ???
Oh and the French 75mm FL-10 gun is an impressive weapon, I would like included in my 'Alternative ADF ORBAT'!! :-*
   
As for the diesel engine issue gents, thanks very much (I'm ignorant to the history of Western diesel engines and they're employment post-WWII).
GTX, I hear and like your suggestion of
Quote
a developed version of the Sd.Kfz. 234 series
, as I both like and greatly respect the German design philosophy! In truth, it appears that the West in many respects has done just what you've suggested. Let me ponder it a little more  :P
Regardless, I like apophenia notion of
Quote
the Daimler-Benz MB507 of 720-850 hp? Captured Schnellboote engines reverse-engineered in postwar Australia..
doesn't seem too far stretched, when one considers everything else the allies used/copied from German technology! There can be no denying my 'Buckethead' mates in armoured utmost respect for the MTU MB 838!! Its funny apophenia, the Detroit Diesel 6046 is the only Western WWII diesel I really know anything about, due to the then unusual fact that the USMC used it in they're M4A2 Sherman's and yet the U.S. army showed no real interest in adapting it  :o
Using the 6046 in the manner of
Quote
Not enough power for the Centurion but would suit your SPH. Then you could use single 7.0L Detroit Diesel 6-71 engines in your APCs, etc. (and possibly 4.7L 4-71s in support vehicles).
makes a lot of sense, but how do you think it would coup up until the 1960's?

Gent's if you don't take me for being rude, I'll take up your aircraft input and suggestions tomorrow, if that's ok? I'm knackered, after installing half of my (well the wife's  ;)) new kitchen, and am starting to see double :-\

Thanks again for your interest and input, and until tomorrow, good night!

M.A.D     

 


Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
As the Mosquito experience showed, the RAAF had real problems with timber skinned/structured aircraft in the tropics, which was where it expected to do most of its operations under the strategic thinking of the day ("Forward Defence").  The Crusader had a short life in the US Navy.  It entered service in 1957 and left service in 1976.  I somehow doubt there were many F-8As still around in 1976. 

The RAAF's use of the Mirage was from 1964 to 1988, while Crusader production ended in 1964, so an RAAF buy would have followed on nicely from USN production. The high attrition rate of the Crusader in USN service was mostly down to it's difficult deck landing characteristics, something which wouldn't really apply to the RAAF. French Navy F-8E(FN)s served from 1964 to 2000, so there's nothing inherently short-lived about the design.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic

Weaver, I like the idea of the Panhard EBR!! :P Its time frame is right on the money for what I want!!
But yes reading into its design/history, the location of its engine is unusual, and seemingly a nightmare to service, let alone replace (the entire turret needing to be removed first, before the engine can be replaced, is insane! :o)

But I just watched a youtube clip of the Panhard EBR, and noticed it has what seems a drivers position at both front and rear! So I'm wondering if it would not be to unfeasible to eliminate the rear drivers compartment and replace it with the "diesel" engine? I'm thinking of replacing its two retractable 'steel' wheels with rubber, so as to save overall weight. As a side note, when watching the youtube clips of the EBR, I noticed that the retracted 'steel' wheels seem to be constantly engaged. Does anyone know if they could be disengaged? They're constant running appears to induce unwarranted wear and tear on the running gear  ???

Oh and the French 75mm FL-10 gun is an impressive weapon, I would like included in my 'Alternative ADF ORBAT'!! :-*
 

I don't see why not: there was an EBR-VTT troop carrier version that had a single-ended driver setup. The point of the rear driver position in a recce vehicle was to enable it to make a fast getaway at full speed, without having to do a three-point turn first. Interestingly, the Saladin was originally designed with a rear driving position (in front of the engine), but it was deleted when the gun was increased from 40mm to 76mm and the volume was needed for ammo.

Changing the engine locaction would be a major exercise though, and I thought you wanted to avoid developmental/paper projects?

Having the centre wheels permanently driven is a trade-off. Stopping them would reduce drive-train wear (although there's much less wear when they're raised: no load), but it would complicate the drive train with extra clutches etc... The point of them having steel wheels with ribs is that it gave them some of the enormous traction of tracks. At the point where you're stuck in the mud, traction is more important than ride quality.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Wow gents, I appreciate your reply, interest and input! ;)

Rickshaw your
Quote
US M8 or Staghound armoured cars
suggestion, I too seriously thought about these designs, but I was a little concerned with obsolescence, with the prospects of them having to serve up until the 1960's-70's.

Both were in use until then in various Latin/Southern American and Middle-Eastern armies.  Australia utilised the Staghound until the early 1960s in the CMF.  Both were excellent vehicles and with proper care and attention, their maintenance was relatively easy.

Offline GTX_Admin

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As the Mosquito experience showed, the RAAF had real problems with timber skinned/structured aircraft in the tropics, which was where it expected to do most of its operations under the strategic thinking of the day ("Forward Defence").  The Crusader had a short life in the US Navy.  It entered service in 1957 and left service in 1976.  I somehow doubt there were many F-8As still around in 1976. 


The RAAF's use of the Mirage was from 1964 to 1988, while Crusader production ended in 1964, so an RAAF buy would have followed on nicely from USN production. The high attrition rate of the Crusader in USN service was mostly down to it's difficult deck landing characteristics, something which wouldn't really apply to the RAAF. French Navy F-8E(FN)s served from 1964 to 2000, so there's nothing inherently short-lived about the design.


Speaking of RAF Crusaders, look here
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline GTX_Admin

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As for the diesel engine issue gents, thanks very much (I'm ignorant to the history of Western diesel engines and they're employment post-WWII).
GTX, I hear and like your suggestion of
Quote
a developed version of the Sd.Kfz. 234 series
, as I both like and greatly respect the German design philosophy! In truth, it appears that the West in many respects has done just what you've suggested. Let me ponder it a little more  :P
 


Part of the reason why I suggested the Sd.Kfz. 234 series was that they were powered by a diesel engine - an air-cooled Tatra 103 V-12.  Looking at the variants used in the real world, you have:

234/1 - 1 x 2 cm KwK 38 L/55 autocannon, 1 x MG 34 machine gun



234/2 - 1 x 5 cm KwK 39 L/60 gun, 1 x MG 34 machine gun



234/3 - 1 x 7.5 cm K51 L/24 gun



234/4 "Pakwagen" - 1 x 7.5 cm PaK 40 L/46 gun



Now if you wanted to go further, you could develop further versions such as these (you can get kits of already):




Others might include an air-defence version with something like a Kugelblitz turret. ;)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline GTX_Admin

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For an early 1950s service entry, you're looking at the Panhard EBR-75 (available 1951) as the French choice (the lighter AML series didn't come in until 1960 for export):

(engine position is unusual: possible cooling issues in Aus? They were used in N.Africa though)


I like the EBR-75 idea.  They were also used by Indonesia.  Maybe up-gun to the EBR-90 as well.


I don't see why not: there was an EBR-VTT troop carrier version that had a single-ended driver setup. The point of the rear driver position in a recce vehicle was to enable it to make a fast getaway at full speed, without having to do a three-point turn first.
.

The VTT version is little known:



The concept of a second driver was also later used in the Spähpanzer Luchs.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
As the Mosquito experience showed, the RAAF had real problems with timber skinned/structured aircraft in the tropics, which was where it expected to do most of its operations under the strategic thinking of the day ("Forward Defence").  The Crusader had a short life in the US Navy.  It entered service in 1957 and left service in 1976.  I somehow doubt there were many F-8As still around in 1976. 

The RAAF's use of the Mirage was from 1964 to 1988, while Crusader production ended in 1964, so an RAAF buy would have followed on nicely from USN production. The high attrition rate of the Crusader in USN service was mostly down to it's difficult deck landing characteristics, something which wouldn't really apply to the RAAF. French Navy F-8E(FN)s served from 1964 to 2000, so there's nothing inherently short-lived about the design.

Except the environment in which it would be expected to operate in.  I've nothing against the F-8, other than what it is made of.  The tropics can have deleterious effects on timber structures in airframes, thats all, I am saying.  The F-8 is timber core skinned.  It _may_ have been bad for the RAAF to operate in tropical conditions... 

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Except the environment in which it would be expected to operate in.  I've nothing against the F-8, other than what it is made of.  The tropics can have deleterious effects on timber structures in airframes, thats all, I am saying.  The F-8 is timber core skinned.  It _may_ have been bad for the RAAF to operate in tropical conditions...

Oh I totally understand the problem, all I'm saying is that if Vought managed to fix it for the Phillippines, who were a small, underfunded, second-hand user, then I'm sure they could have come up with a solution sooner if the Australian ones started to give problems. Of course if the RAAF decides it's a deal-breaker during the selection process, then it's game over.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline elmayerle

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Perhaps a redesign for a more corrosion-resistant skin as well as swapping out the engine for a lighter and smaller J79 (like the proposed V-1000 "International Crusader")?  I could see that being a good move for both an Australian sale as well as other export sales.

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Perhaps a redesign for a more corrosion-resistant skin as well as swapping out the engine for a lighter and smaller J79 (like the proposed V-1000 "International Crusader")?  I could see that being a good move for both an Australian sale as well as other export sales.

Yeah that'd be good, plus the V-1000 had reduced fuel tankage to meet the export fighter requirement for a 'defense', 'non-provocative' type, but there's no reason an Aussie one would have to stick to that, so it could have impressive range.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Perhaps a redesign for a more corrosion-resistant skin as well as swapping out the engine for a lighter and smaller J79 (like the proposed V-1000 "International Crusader")?  I could see that being a good move for both an Australian sale as well as other export sales.

All things CAC would have been capable of doing had we gone for local production.  With an early 60s selection there could even have been synergies with the A-7, perhaps even the A-7D/E features of the Spey, M-61 and nav attack system for the late 60s attack variant.

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Perhaps a redesign for a more corrosion-resistant skin as well as swapping out the engine for a lighter and smaller J79 (like the proposed V-1000 "International Crusader")?  I could see that being a good move for both an Australian sale as well as other export sales.

All things CAC would have been capable of doing had we gone for local production.  With an early 60s selection there could even have been synergies with the A-7, perhaps even the A-7D/E features of the Spey, M-61 and nav attack system for the late 60s attack variant.

The Spey is a major rebuild: an A-7 may look like an F-8, but it's almost wholly different in detail. I've heard it said that it'd be easier to stretch the A-7 and put a thin wing and an afterburner on it* than it would be to kipper an F-8 to get a Spey in after the fact.

The M-61 would be an excellent move. For all the 'Last Gunfighter' guff, the F-8's gun installation was actually pretty poor.

* As was done for real many years later, of course: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vought_YA-7F
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline elmayerle

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You likely would need to enlarge the intake to fit the Spey, but I don't think an afterburning Spey is that much larger, if at all, than an afterburning J57.  You're one generation of engine technology later and there were improvements.  Too, it depends on whether you're using the same basic afterburning Spey of the British Phantoms or the afterburning TF41 that Allison/RR worked on in the mid-1960's (the latter would definitely see an increase in thrust).

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
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My 2 cents re: aircraft options:

F-4 acquired in the '60's, rather than the Mirage, in the Interceptor/Air Superiority role - being replaced in the mid-70's with an F-15/16 mix.
A-7 acquired at the same time in the CAS role - being transfered to the RAN in the mid-70's & replaced with re-worked F-4's.
Buccaneer, also, acquired in that era for the Strike bomber role - being transfered to the RAN in the mid-70's & replaced with F-111's.

The latter 2 could also be operated by the RAN in that time period - giving logistics commonality.
The RAN could operate F-8's, CAC-modified as you've been discussing, in the CAG Interceptor/Air Superiority role.
S-2's could be purchased 6-or-7 years earlier than they were for ASW(&, possibly, C-1's & E-1's for COD & AEW respectively).
RAN would operate F-8, A-7, Buccaneer & S-2 variants into the mid-80's.
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Back to the opening post for a second.  Among the high risk, poorly performing acquisitions you listed the Collins class submarine, this is actually a platform I have considerable real world experience with, not as a designer or builder but as a maintainers and upgrader, i.e. I worked on the solutions to the issues.

Something that really surprised me working on the class was how far off the mark the public reports were, for example a news paper report would state that only one boat was in service when I knew for fact it was two and the boat they said was at sea was actually in the shed being stripped for its MCD (mid cycle docking or two yearly refit and upgrade).  Working where I did provided some insight to the actual performance and availability of the class, if when and why they were unavailable, for example two boats were pulled from service early  for their FCDs during the mid to late 2000s because efficiency drives within naval engineering had resulted in insufficient qualified crews (technical sailors specifically) being available to have more than three submarines in service.  To see the company I proudly worked for slandered weekly or more often in the media and even parliament for issues that were caused directly by government policy was beyond demoralising.

Another little known, but actually public domain, issue was that much of the bad news was deliberately engineered for political and capability reasons.  On the political side the entire project was seen as the baby of the then leader of the opposition when he was defence minister, though he had moved on to another role before steel was cut perceived problems with the project were seen as a very convenient tool to discredit him with. 

On the capability side the was a very influential senior officer who was responsible for "fixing the boats".  He was a talented career submariner who took the opportunity to not just fix the teething problems but to upgrade them with the latest and greatest capabilities.  The original combat system by Rockwell was a mess and a perfectly good enough German system was selected to replace it but the Admiral was able to convince the government that the vastly more expensive USN AN/BYG-1 from the Virginia class, even though it entailed very challenging integration issues, was the only way to go.  This was something he admitted to in his interviews for the book "The Collins Class Submarine Story: Steel, Spies and Spin" by Peter Yule and Derek Woolner, he would of state problems or even create them to justify fitting the submarines with new capabilities that didn't even exist when the type was designed, they were in actual fact upgrades not fixes.

What is not well know or understood is the class actually had higher levels of availability then the majority of foreign designs, longer range, greater stealth (at patrol speeds they were undetectable) and ironically the issue with their noise levels at high speed was actually a factor of them being capable of higher speeds than the hull was designed to be silent at i.e. the bow cylindrical array sonar was raised to provide greater coverage which forced a compromise in water flow over the hull, the powers that be conveniently forgetting the agreed compromise when it suited them.  Even then this was addressed through using USN tech from the Virginia class meaning that this much maligned type that was "as loud as a rock concert" went from meeting or exceeding requirements to absolutely smashing them.  The majority of issues encountered on the first of class had been addressed by the time the second boat commissioned with the third being even better, the next two were completed with many improvements and upgrades lifted from the USN that effectively made them an improved sub class until this mods were fitted to the earlier boats during FCD and the final boat was improved further again.  Even so boat two and three, in their initial configuration performed exceptionally on exercise with the USN, boat three even being lost by a SH-60F Oceanhawk that followed it out of Pearl Harbour (in violation of the exercise rules) once it dived they lost it. 

Over all the project has been a political football and a media circus with very little fact ever seeing the light of day.  Most issues reported today or old news and totally irrelevant as they were fixed years ago, most new issues are due to it being an aging platform with the associated wear and tear as well as obsolescence issues.  If someone other than the former defmin had been leader of the opposition  or something else had come up at the time there would never have been the bad press and all else being the same people would see the project for the success it has been.

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
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Amen!

My wife was a "bus buddy" of one of the (I think) design & development team. I was told that he was, pretty much, the only person in the world with his qualifications.  He took early retirement, I believe, a some years ago. He was adamant that the boats were amongst the best in the world for purpose, which was more than he could say for politicians & "journalists/reporters".

Maybe you knew him - short; darkish grey hair; travelled a lot; was a uni lecturer on the side; bit of a drinker; Glen? ???
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
If he was an ex RN Scot who answers to "Jock" I do, otherwise maybe not, the others I know who lecture at uni still work there.  Still touch base with them regularly and would love to go back, it was by far the best group of people I ever worked with.

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
Nope, not the same guy. Odd looking bloke, really; Aussie; bookish; bit of an odd-man-out; never married; his hobbies were collecting (expensive) fine wines & (very) old maps.
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Nope, not the same guy. Odd looking bloke, really; Aussie; bookish; bit of an odd-man-out; never married; his hobbies were collecting (expensive) fine wines & (very) old maps.

Sort of rings a bell but I am sure the bloke I'm thinking of is still there, well that is I couldn't imagine him leaving, especially as they are finally doing things the way he was suggesting for over a decade.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Whilst off on this tangent, I too have heard similar re the Collins class.  Once the media decide something is crap though they won't let the facts get in the way - the F-35 is a case in point.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
Whilst off on this tangent, I too have heard similar re the Collins class.  Once the media decide something is crap though they won't let the facts get in the way - the F-35 is a case in point.

Have the media ever let the facts get in the way? ???
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Part of the problem with the COLLINS class was that the then ALP government decided to "slim down" the services and a lot of middle-ranking officers - the ones who actually managed the building of the class and other projects were forcibly retired.  These men (and I assume women) were enbittered by the experience and some of them went to the media - particularly Uncle Rupert's rags - and bleated out all they knew about the troubles of the program.  The result was an ongoing battle against old information which was rapidly outdated by the various "fixes" and upgrades that the class underwent during their early life.

Then there was the Navy own management problems.  Their lack of crews have largely rendered the class halved AIUI in numbers.  The idea was that the six would have two on operation, two in training and two in refit at any one time.  Problem was the mining boom made the idea of being submarine crew unpopular and the crew decamped to the mining sites to earn twice as much and to spend half as much time away from home.   This, plus the poor management of the boats themselves meant that they were often than not alongside, rather than at sea.

As Volkadov has mentioned, the boats have become the best conventional submarines the world has thus far seen.  They are quieter, longer ranged and faster than most conventional submarines and have earnt the RAN kudos from all our allies which have exercised with them.

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Here's something that struck me today.

Commonwealth Aircraft seems to have developed a relationship with North American, building first the Mustang, then the Sabre. What if that went further, and they ended up building a sequence something like this for the RAAF and RAN?

F-82 Twin Mustang: long range fighter (idea for PTO)

F-86F Sabre: initial fighter version with J-47 engine & 6 x HMGs

F-86K Sabre: all-weather fighter with 4 x 20mm cannon & Sidewinders

Sapphire Sabre (RAN): basically an FJ-3 Fury with a UK-spec Sapphire (licence built) instead of the J-65 and 2 x ADEN cannons.

Sapphire Sabre (RAAF): ulitmate fighter version, basically the RAN fuselage with a non-folding 6-3 wing and a shorter nosewheel.

F-100D/F Super Sabre: possibly with developed Sapphire or Avon engines.

T-28 Trojan: sensible choice of basic trainer if you've been producing Mustangs.

T-2 Buckeye: jet trainer for both RAAF and RAN.

OV-10 Bronco: for use in Vietnam?


Getting a bit more developmental:

F-107: Super Sabre follow-on with radar, original chin intake and no recessed nuke, possibly with an Olympus engine. This would be bought instead of the Mirage.

A-5 Vigilante: Canberra replacement. I know the RAAF evaluated it and didn't think much of it compared to the F-111 & TSR.2, but what if CAC were offering a version more adapted to conventional strike? Linear bomb bay replaced with permanent, space-efficent fuel tankage, clipped wings for low-level work (basically take the folding bit off!) and fuselage pylons?
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
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Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Part of the problem with the COLLINS class was that the then ALP government decided to "slim down" the services and a lot of middle-ranking officers - the ones who actually managed the building of the class and other projects were forcibly retired.  These men (and I assume women) were enbittered by the experience and some of them went to the media - particularly Uncle Rupert's rags - and bleated out all they knew about the troubles of the program.  The result was an ongoing battle against old information which was rapidly outdated by the various "fixes" and upgrades that the class underwent during their early life.

Then there was the Navy own management problems.  Their lack of crews have largely rendered the class halved AIUI in numbers.  The idea was that the six would have two on operation, two in training and two in refit at any one time.  Problem was the mining boom made the idea of being submarine crew unpopular and the crew decamped to the mining sites to earn twice as much and to spend half as much time away from home.   This, plus the poor management of the boats themselves meant that they were often than not alongside, rather than at sea.

As Volkadov has mentioned, the boats have become the best conventional submarines the world has thus far seen.  They are quieter, longer ranged and faster than most conventional submarines and have earnt the RAN kudos from all our allies which have exercised with them.

If you actually look at the timings most of the build work and the discovery of the teething issues actually occurred after the Hawke Keating years and the downsizing of the naval engineering capability began as part of the tail to teeth rebalance under the new government when older more manpower intensive platforms were retired without replacement.  Basically Australias defence forces went through what those in the UK did a decade later when centre right governments replaced very long serving centre left ones, every project that could be stopped or scrapped was, capabilities were retired without replacement and future development was virtually put on hold while the new government strived to undo over a decade of their predecessors legacy, often throwing the baby out with the bath water.

With the exception of the combat system the problems with the Collins class were teething problems similar to those any new class suffers, teething problems that had mostly been addressed by the second and third of class.  The third boat was used for trials for many of the systems to be incorporated into the remaining three boats, that had been deliberately delayed to incorporate these changes that were upgrades rather than fixes.  A smart operator would have simply ordered an evolved second batch or flight, it would have cost less, caused less disruption, brought the RAN up to the long acknowledged required strength of at least eight boats as well as firmly establishing the local building capability and progressing the design capability, leading to the order of a replacement class or third batch by 2010.  Unfortunately we didn't have a smart operator and problems that were clearly those of overseas suppliers were blamed on the Australian builder.

The combat system was the biggest problem, it was directly contracted by the commonwealth and the builder had no control over it whatsoever.  ASC formed their own CS group to try and integrate Rockwells abomination but as the basic architecture was never stable, let alone capable, this was not possible.  ASC warned the government dept of defence on multiple occasions, even demonstrating the systems instability and Rockwells violation of contractual conditions to no avail, they continued to receive progress and mile stone payments for a product that was not evolving and not meeting milestones.  The issue there was Rockwell was a company that had never done a submarine CS but wanted to get into the game so they subcontracted Singer Librascope and Sperry to do the work.  The subcontractors did precisely what they were contracted to do and nothing more then walked as they had no interest in establishing a competitor on the market.  Rockwell, clueless and having promised the impossible failed to acknowledge that they had no idea how to deliver the contracted systems and simply pushed along assuring defence that all was well, even though ASC and the RAN project staff were reporting otherwise.  You see a major global corporation would never lie or let you down, so it must be ASC telling porkies.  What Rockwell promised back in the late 80s with 286 type processors, can still not be achieved in 2016.

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Here's something that struck me today.

Commonwealth Aircraft seems to have developed a relationship with North American, building first the Mustang, then the Sabre. What if that went further, and they ended up building a sequence something like this for the RAAF and RAN?

F-82 Twin Mustang: long range fighter (idea for PTO)

F-86F Sabre: initial fighter version with J-47 engine & 6 x HMGs

F-86K Sabre: all-weather fighter with 4 x 20mm cannon & Sidewinders

Sapphire Sabre (RAN): basically an FJ-3 Fury with a UK-spec Sapphire (licence built) instead of the J-65 and 2 x ADEN cannons.

Sapphire Sabre (RAAF): ulitmate fighter version, basically the RAN fuselage with a non-folding 6-3 wing and a shorter nosewheel.

F-100D/F Super Sabre: possibly with developed Sapphire or Avon engines.

T-28 Trojan: sensible choice of basic trainer if you've been producing Mustangs.

T-2 Buckeye: jet trainer for both RAAF and RAN.

OV-10 Bronco: for use in Vietnam?


Getting a bit more developmental:

F-107: Super Sabre follow-on with radar, original chin intake and no recessed nuke, possibly with an Olympus engine. This would be bought instead of the Mirage.

A-5 Vigilante: Canberra replacement. I know the RAAF evaluated it and didn't think much of it compared to the F-111 & TSR.2, but what if CAC were offering a version more adapted to conventional strike? Linear bomb bay replaced with permanent, space-efficent fuel tankage, clipped wings for low-level work (basically take the folding bit off!) and fuselage pylons?

That would be very logical particularly the North American tie in. 

Another that would work would be De Havilland, which build a and assembled a range of aircraft in Australia before and during the war before their major projects to deliver Mosquitos and Vampires the RAAF.  These could quite reasonably have been supplemented by local production or assembly of the Hornet/Seahornet to fill the RAAF long range fighter requirement as well as providing reconnaissance and night fighter versions to fill gaps in the RAAFs and RANs order of battle.  The Venom/Seavenom could have followed as could the Seavixen (or even a land based Vixen) into the early 60s.

Another idea I had was that considering the size of the RAAF flying reserve it actual Mustangs, Vampires and Meteors could have been supplemented by night fighter variants, i.e. two or three day fighter flight and one or two night fighter flights per squadron.  Instead of scraping the flying reserve it could have continued and instead of using handmedown aircraft it could have been reequipped with types specifically tailored to their requirements, i.e. every SAAB combat aircraft from the Tunnan onwards.

I recall reading somewhere that CAC was to a degree agnostic and while they had their favourites they were prepared to modify and build pretty much anyones designs.  Assuming that the P.1081 actually got up, even as a naval fighter, we could have seen them move on to the Hunter then radar equipped, supersonic and navalised variants of the Hunter.  The same could have happened with Grumman had they been able to acquire the F9F Panther pattern airframe they desired, leading to ADF Cougers, Tigers and Super Tigers.


Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
I was slightly surprised to discover that Australia didn't have Vampire NF.10 night-fighters, to be honest. They'd be perfect for your Flying Reserve idea since they're basically a T.11 with a radar.

If CAC was building Sapphires for the Sabres, another thing they might do is go for the Javelin for the all-weather requirement. Not saying that would be a good decision with 20/20 hindsight, but it would make industrial sense.

The A-5D ('D for Down-Under'  >:D) would be such a huge investment that the RAAF would probably cling to it for grim death, much as they did with the F-111s, upgrading it time and time again until they literally fell apart. The ultimate arbiter of the type's service life would be who else bought it, and therefore how many spare airframes would be available, and with what support.

An A-5D-CSP (Capability Sustainment Program) might make an interesting model. Fat spine for fuel/electronics (real reason: you can only get RA-5C models anyway  ;) ) Countermeasures in the (fixed) tail cone, ECM in wingtip pods, defensive Sidewinders/ASRAAMs on extra outboard wing pylons, Tornado-style tandem pylons on the fuselage (continuous on the centreline, split around the u/c bays outboard), targeting pods, smart bombs..... >:D

You know this needs Roos on it... >:D

« Last Edit: May 04, 2016, 08:50:06 PM by Weaver »
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
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Here's something that struck me today.

Commonwealth Aircraft seems to have developed a relationship with North American, building first the Mustang, then the Sabre. What if that went further, and they ended up building a sequence something like this for the RAAF and RAN?


Err...it started before the Mustang:  The CAC Wirraway was a development of the North American NA-16.  Part of the reason why CAC had such a close relationship was a combination of NA being willing to licence their technology and also their having technology that was leading edge.

I too have thought of a more developed NA range in Australia.  My comments against your list:

F-82 Twin Mustang: long range fighter (idea for PTO)


Great idea - in fact, it is sometimes bewildering why the F-82 wasn't adopted by Australia post war.  On the "To be built" list!

F-86F Sabre: initial fighter version with J-47 engine & 6 x HMGs

F-86K Sabre: all-weather fighter with 4 x 20mm cannon & Sidewinders


Well, we went with the CAC Avon Sabre which had the Rolls-Royce Avon Mk 26 engine, which had roughly 50% more thrust than the J47, as well as 30 mm Aden cannons and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles so why bother?

Sapphire Sabre (RAN): basically an FJ-3 Fury with a UK-spec Sapphire (licence built) instead of the J-65 and 2 x ADEN cannons.

Sapphire Sabre (RAAF): ulitmate fighter version, basically the RAN fuselage with a non-folding 6-3 wing and a shorter nosewheel.


Another favourite of mine and one touched upon already:



I would prefer to go with a naval version of the Avon Sabre though.

F-100D/F Super Sabre: possibly with developed Sapphire or Avon engines.


Another possibility - one probably needs for the standard Sabre to be taken out of the picture though...maybe CAC really plan to do the F-100 but do the standard Sabre as an interim measure while working unto the F-100?  A carrier based version could definitely be interesting.

T-28 Trojan: sensible choice of basic trainer if you've been producing Mustangs.


Definitely - use instead of the CAC CA-25 Winjeel

T-2 Buckeye: jet trainer for both RAAF and RAN.


Maybe instead of MB-326H?  Roulettes Buckeye anyone?

OV-10 Bronco: for use in Vietnam?


Definitely - especially given Australians flew in OV-10s on exchange there.

F-107: Super Sabre follow-on with radar, original chin intake and no recessed nuke, possibly with an Olympus engine. This would be bought instead of the Mirage.


Maybe, though suffering same issue as with F-100 above.  Maybe the F-107 is introduced as an interim Canberra replacement rather than Mirage alternate?

I am either way re Chin intake:



A-5 Vigilante: Canberra replacement. I know the RAAF evaluated it and didn't think much of it compared to the F-111 & TSR.2, but what if CAC were offering a version more adapted to conventional strike? Linear bomb bay replaced with permanent, space-efficent fuel tankage, clipped wings for low-level work (basically take the folding bit off!) and fuselage pylons?


Well, it was certainly offered/considered:




One of my personal preferences is for the RAAF and RAN to share designs wherever possible   This may influence many choices.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
F-86F Sabre: initial fighter version with J-47 engine & 6 x HMGs

F-86K Sabre: all-weather fighter with 4 x 20mm cannon & Sidewinders


Well, we went with the CAC Avon Sabre which had the Rolls-Royce Avon Mk 26 engine, which had roughly 50% more thrust than the J47, as well as 30 mm Aden cannons and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles so why bother?


Time, basically. The RAAF didn't get the Avon Sabre until 1954, too late for Korea. Had a perfectly standard non-developmental Sabre been put into service in 1950 or 1951 as an emergency measure, the RAAF in Korea would have been materially better off.

As for the F-86K, well this is the export version of the radar-equipped Sabre-Dog, so a totally different mission. I must admit to being slightly puzzled that Australia doesn't seem to have adopted any jet night-fighter in the 1950s: was there no requirement, or was it just too far down the list?


Quote
Sapphire Sabre (RAN): basically an FJ-3 Fury with a UK-spec Sapphire (licence built) instead of the J-65 and 2 x ADEN cannons.

Sapphire Sabre (RAAF): ulitmate fighter version, basically the RAN fuselage with a non-folding 6-3 wing and a shorter nosewheel.


Another favourite of mine and one touched upon already:



I would prefer to go with a naval version of the Avon Sabre though.


Primary reason for going this route was to avoid re-inventing the wheel: if NAA are already adapting a much more powerful engine to the Sabre, then why not simply go with them? Since the Sapphire and Avon wre interchangeable in many installations anyway, Aus could probably have an 'Avon-Fury' if they really wanted one.

I went for the FJ-3 rather than the FJ-4 specifically because it's more of a fighter and more like the CA-27. The FJ-4 was more of a strike aircraft in practice.

Quote
F-100D/F Super Sabre: possibly with developed Sapphire or Avon engines.


Another possibility - one probably needs for the standard Sabre to be taken out of the picture though...maybe CAC really plan to do the F-100 but do the standard Sabre as an interim measure while working unto the F-100?  A carrier based version could definitely be interesting.


I think that, looking at dates, the Super Sabre is an alternative to the Sapphire Sabres if anything. The RAAF and CAC would have an interesting decision to make: go for an 'Aussie Sabre' development of the F-86F with low risk but limited potential or jump ahead to the genuinely supersonic F-100, thereby betting the farm on something much more developmental and likely to suffer from problems?

It would be realistic, if not satisfying, for a muddy compromise to see both happen. The RAAF want to go straight from the F-86F to the F-100, but when the development problems with the latter become apparent, it all gets political and CAC's offer of the Sapphire Sabre as a safe interim buy is forced on the RAAF against their will. The problem then is that they have too many new aircraft all at once in the late 1950s, and are therefore forced to keep flying the F-100 and Sapphire Sabre into the early 1970s when they'd really rather have switched to something like the Mirage with radar and Mach 2 capability.


Quote
F-107: Super Sabre follow-on with radar, original chin intake and no recessed nuke, possibly with an Olympus engine. This would be bought instead of the Mirage.


Maybe, though suffering same issue as with F-100 above.  Maybe the F-107 is introduced as an interim Canberra replacement rather than Mirage alternate?


The intake went dorsal when the ventral intake was shown to interfere with the semi-recessed tac nuke they planned to carry. I can't imagine it improved high AoA capability though, which is why I suggested the chin intake for a non-nuclear fighter-bomber version. it would also be more sutiable for an AI radar too. The Aussie Mirages were actually bought in two different standards originally, one interceptor and one strike, so you might imagine the F-107 doing both roles too.

Did Australia have, or have access to, tac nukes for it's Canberras and F-111s?


Quote
One of my personal preferences is for the RAAF and RAN to share designs wherever possible   This may influence many choices.


It gets tricky when you're trying to reconcile the RAAF's very long range strike requirement and the RAN's tiny carriers though. I'm not even sure that you'd get a Crusader onto a Colossus/Majestic safely: the F-8(FN) mods only barely allowed it to operate from the larger Clemenceaus.

Of course one whiff option we havn't looked at yet in this thread is the RAN getting bigger and better carriers at some point:

Build a Clemenceau locally? (Crusaders plus Skyhawks or A7s?)

Take a second-hand Essex from the USN?

How about buying the newly-refitted Victorious after she was surprise-decommissioned? Buccaneers and Crusaders would be a tasty option.

For any option, purchase and operating costs are obviously going to be a big deal, but also, what about manning issues?
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Time, basically. The RAAF didn't get the Avon Sabre until 1954, too late for Korea. Had a perfectly standard non-developmental Sabre been put into service in 1950 or 1951 as an emergency measure, the RAAF in Korea would have been materially better off.


Fair enough - I suppose one option is definitely that the RAAF get standard F-86s early one perhaps even as a lease or similar pending delivery of the proper CAC Super Sabre based on the F-100.

As for the F-86K, well this is the export version of the radar-equipped Sabre-Dog, so a totally different mission. I must admit to being slightly puzzled that Australia doesn't seem to have adopted any jet night-fighter in the 1950s: was there no requirement, or was it just too far down the list?


The closest that we came (beyond drawing board projects) was the De Havilland Sea Venom F.A.W. MK 53 that entered service with the RAN in '56. 



I think that, looking at dates, the Super Sabre is an alternative to the Sapphire Sabres if anything. The RAAF and CAC would have an interesting decision to make: go for an 'Aussie Sabre' development of the F-86F with low risk but limited potential or jump ahead to the genuinely supersonic F-100, thereby betting the farm on something much more developmental and likely to suffer from problems?

It would be realistic, if not satisfying, for a muddy compromise to see both happen. The RAAF want to go straight from the F-86F to the F-100, but when the development problems with the latter become apparent, it all gets political and CAC's offer of the Sapphire Sabre as a safe interim buy is forced on the RAAF against their will. The problem then is that they have too many new aircraft all at once in the late 1950s, and are therefore forced to keep flying the F-100 and Sapphire Sabre into the early 1970s when they'd really rather have switched to something like the Mirage with radar and Mach 2 capability.


As mentioned above, I think a CAC Super Sabre preceded by an interim lease (or similar) of standard Sabres is an interesting way to go.  Maybe make the CAC Super Sabre Avon/Sapphire engined and give it 30mm cannon instead of 20mm ones.  Would look great in these markings:



Did Australia have, or have access to, tac nukes for it's Canberras and F-111s?


Not officially...

It gets tricky when you're trying to reconcile the RAAF's very long range strike requirement and the RAN's tiny carriers though. I'm not even sure that you'd get a Crusader onto a Colossus/Majestic safely: the F-8(FN) mods only barely allowed it to operate from the larger Clemenceaus.

Of course one whiff option we havn't looked at yet in this thread is the RAN getting bigger and better carriers at some point:

Build a Clemenceau locally? (Crusaders plus Skyhawks or A7s?)

Take a second-hand Essex from the USN?

How about buying the newly-refitted Victorious after she was surprise-decommissioned? Buccaneers and Crusaders would be a tasty option.

For any option, purchase and operating costs are obviously going to be a big deal, but also, what about manning issues?


All those options would be valid.  Another would be if the late '60s offer of the Centaur-class Hermes as a replacement for HMAS Melbourne.

If you want to look at a possible different RAN based around carriers, have a read of Southern Sea Eagles - The Alternative RAN FAA
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Offline GTX_Admin

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maybe CAC really plan to do the F-100 but do the standard Sabre as an interim measure while working unto the F-100?  A carrier based version could definitely be interesting.



Picking up on my earlier comment:

There was a naval version of the F-100 proposed:




More details here

Now, let's put that in RAN markings as well...
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Offline elmayerle

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Then, too, there's the FJ-5 proposal that's a navalized J79-powered half-way development between the F-100 and F-107 (simple pitot dorsal intake).  That would look good in RAN markings and perhaps make way for other J79-powered aircraft (to the frustration of the French, the Australians decide against the Avon-powered Mirage but go with a modified, J79-powered one instead with considerable export potential (Japan, perhaps?).

Offline Rickshaw

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As mentioned above, I think a CAC Super Sabre preceded by an interim lease (or similar) of standard Sabres is an interesting way to go.  Maybe make the CAC Super Sabre Avon/Sapphire engined and give it 30mm cannon instead of 20mm ones.  Would look great in these markings:




Like this?






Offline Volkodav

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Thanks for posting those again GTX and Rick, love your Alt Aussie work.

On the larger, better carriers I have long been a fan of Australia acquiring and modernising the Implacables.  The RN apparently was looking to getting the RAN to crew them during WWII due to their manpower shortages and it wouldn't have taken much to have sent sufficient Australians from the Empire Air Training Scheme from Bomber Command to the Fleet Air Arm (that actually had very large numbers of New Zealanders) to provide the air wings for the two ships.  My thinking is due to their limited hanger height the RN could recommend the British government gift them to Australia in exchange for having an extra two or three Centaurs, another pair of Audacious, or even a couple of the Maltas completed instead.

This would initially be ideal for Australia as the ships could operate perfectly good enough F6F Hellcats and TBF Avengers (according to AGRA there were very large numbers of Hellcats and other USN/FAA types, pre-deployed to Australia to support allied fleet operation, remaining and subsequently destroyed.  These aircraft could be acquired for a very low cost and, due to the large numbers involved, retained in service, through cannibalisation, well into the 50s. 

This is where it gets interesting, Australia could economically upgrade these ships during the 50s with an angled deck, steam catapults and Mk6 3" replacing the original 4.5" BD twins, converting the lower hanger into workshops technical stores etc. but keeping the original full length 14' high upper hanger.  The ships were still fairly new and hadn't seen tha same hard war service as the earlier armoured fleet carriers so the machinery should still be good though they would likely need additional power generation, maybe diesel generators installed in the lower hanger or enlarged deck sponsons. 

The 14' hanger can be retained because Australia develops a navalised Hawker Hunter and improved versions there of, initially as a fleet fighter then strike aircraft and then supplements it with supersonic evolutions of it.  Alternatively the Grumman Tiger could be acquired instead of the super hunter or as a supplement with the Tiger then super tiger filling the FAW role and the Seahunter then Super Seahunter becoming the primary striker.  Helicopter of choice for utility, CSAR and eventually ASW would be the Karman Seasprite, simple because it fits in the hanger, same for the Fairey Gannet.

Similar in size to the Essex Class their major limitation was their hanger height and the expence of rebuilding them.  By carfully selecting or developing aircraft this could have been over come and the ships could have easily served into the 70s or 80s and perhaps even the 90s.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Like this?


Nope!  Nothing like that at all... ;)
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Actually, at the risk of hijacking this thread, I am increasingly thinking a story built around a CAC F-100 could be interesting.  Basic framework might be:

In response to the threat posed by Communist MiG-15 jet fighters in Korea, it was decided to rapidly equip No. 77 Squadron with F-86 Sabres.  This prompted CAC to investigate possible production of the Sabre as a replacement for the CAC Mustang and DHA Vampire.  Initially a developed version of the Sabre with a RR Avon is considered however during discussions with NA, CAC become aware of the Sabre 45 development of the F-86.  This is a much more advanced supersonic platform and later becomes the F-100.  CAC signs licence to also produce in Australia using the RR Avon engine.  It is introduced as the CA-27 Super Sabre.

Later on as CAC Super Sabre production is coming to an end, the follow on development, the F-107 (then entering service with the USAF) is proposed as a private venture to replace the EE Canberras...

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Offline Weaver

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I thought the Hunter had been looked at for naval use and deemed unsuitable for various reasons?

Given the level of capability CAC had in the 1950s, they could have adapted a carrier type that didn't fit in the Implacables' 14ft hangers originally to do so for the RAN by designing their own folding fin or double-folding wing modification.

The Grumman Tiger would be an excellent choice: it's fin was low enough to fit in the hangar without modification and it's 'wing fold' was just down-folding tips that reduced it's span to just 1'4" more than a Skyhawk. You could get around the anemic engine problems by using a licence-built UK-spec Sapphire in place of the J65, or using an Avon instead. An Avon-Tiger was offered to the Luftwaffe in competition to the Starfighter, and it might make a tasty Mirage alternative for the RAAF too.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

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Offline Volkodav

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I thought the Hunter had been looked at for naval use and deemed unsuitable for various reasons?

Given the level of capability CAC had in the 1950s, they could have adapted a carrier type that didn't fit in the Implacables' 14ft hangers originally to do so for the RAN by designing their own folding fin or double-folding wing modification.

The Grumman Tiger would be an excellent choice: it's fin was low enough to fit in the hangar without modification and it's 'wing fold' was just down-folding tips that reduced it's span to just 1'4" more than a Skyhawk. You could get around the anemic engine problems by using a licence-built UK-spec Sapphire in place of the J65, or using an Avon instead. An Avon-Tiger was offered to the Luftwaffe in competition to the Starfighter, and it might make a tasty Mirage alternative for the RAAF too.

A navalised Hunter would have been an Australian project to specifically develop a type to operate from the Implacbles therefore would have had an appropriately located wing fold to permit it to fit.  Ideally it would have been continually developed into a capable supersonic strike fighter to complement the more air defence oriented Tiger and Super Tiger.  Logically the Tigers would have Avons to simplify logistics.

Would love to see RAN, RAM and army aviation Hunters serving into the 90s or later in their various iterations, progressively being supplemented but not entirely replaced until the 2000s, the final versions would be quite comparable to the AMX.

What would be a laugh is if CAC and Hawker Australia develop fighters for the RAN FAA that De Havilland Australia develop a land based variant of the Sea vixen for the RAAF Reserve squadrons all weather fighter flights.

Offline M.A.D

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Sorry for my lack of participation and input gents!

Weaver, due to the ‘off-the-drawing-board’ nature of the F-111/TFX, and as much as I love and appreciate the Pig, it will not be initially purchased by the Australian Gov/RAAF (If anything, until the design is matured, and its bugs ironed out, it would be more likely that I would consider the evolved F-111E/F model of the aircraft!), nor that of the TSR.2!

I was thinking along the following lines -
As you have alluded to in your Post #31, I too, would be leaning to a ‘conventional strike-tailored’ variant of the North American A-5C Vigilante. Now, by North American Aviation adopting the “operationally proven” Vigilante, would be within my perceived ‘risk factor’ parameters. Even though the Australian/RAAF order might only be seen as relative small in comparison to the USN’s orders of Vigilante’s, I think NAA would see a commitment to such a modification as a big benefit to opening up the market potential of the Vigilante – and who knows, the USN may even see its potential!
Yes, I too would envisage the linear bomb bay being replaced by the ‘Martin’ signature rotary bomb/tank bay system, as designed and incorporated into the Martin XB-51, P6M Seamaster, Martin-built B-57 Canberra and the Blackburn Buccaneer. This would allow the four main plumbed wing pylons to be used to carry four large drop tanks. One piece wings to replace carrier-designed folding wing arrangement - giving a stronger wing design, more wing-sortable fuel, and or an additional outer wing pylons, ....)

OR

Adapt the already existing USN RA-5C Vigilante carrier-based strike/reconnaissance, as is, with minimal modifications, which would need heavily supported by airborne refuelling assets to achieve its range parameters?

The first option incorporating both time and cost penalties, but would be more capable of independent operations, with less reliance on airborne refuelling assets.
The second option, although less capable in stand-alone configuration, would be significant cheaper. The savings in 'off-the-shelf' acquisition of the existing RA-5C, could allow for a latter replacement by a mature GD F-111F in the late 1970's (Actual USAF produced between 1970 and 1976!), which was not just be a more capable and mature evolution of the TFX, but its technical teething problems were ironed out, and complemented with Precision Guided weapons, to give a unique, unmatched world class strike-reconnaissance capability!

(As a side note - As standardisation will be strongly pushed for within the ADF, if the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II is adopted by the RAAF, (I envisage the Phantom II in RAAF service, as a long-range all-weather over water interceptor), its General Electric J79 turbojets, will have an important commonality with the RAAF’s North American A-5 Vigilante!

Once again, I would like to emphasise the ADF’s pro-activeness to defence/warfighting in my 'Alternative ADF ORBAT’! If I can, I would like to see the ADF being more geared to an Israeli-like mentality of appreciating and learning from one’s own and others combat experience and military trends, as opposed to the reality of Australia’s near subservient follower of American and British trend setting. The psyche that first Britain, and then, as now, the United States would come and save us in time of crisis/war. So when it comes to the Request for Proposals (RfP) and selection criteria for weapons systems/platforms, I envisage the ADF seriously taking things like airfield dispersal and rough-field capability – learnt from the valuable combat lessons of WWII, Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, becomes a realistic factor in these aircraft ability to operate for long periods of time from dispersed locations.
Weaver, I’ll return to your “What if the Mirage replacement” later if you allow me (in terms of chronological order)

M.A.D

Offline Weaver

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The major problems with putting any kind of bomb-bay into the Vigilante, whether conventional or rotary are:

1. Structure. The A-5's airframe was designed to have a continuous load-bearing structure in that area: cutting a huge hole in it would mean re-stressing pretty much the whole airframe, which would be an enormous and time-consuming exercise that would also drive a coach and horses through any 'commonality' wit the USN version.

2. Undercarriage. The A-5's undercarriage folds inward, not forwards as on the TSR.2, which means that there's very little centre-line clearance between the bays. The ventral 'canoe' fairing that you see on the RA-5C uses every last millimetre of available width and it's still not very wide.

I think there's a middle way that's better. Converting the linear bomb bay to an efficient fuel tank is realtively straight-forward: you add some non-structural panels around the space, seal them, and turn it into an integral tank. Even if that can't be done, removing all the bomb bay equipment would allow you to fit permanent bag tanks between the frames with significantly greater capacity than that of the droppable store.

Once you've got fuel in the fuselage, you can add stores under the fuselage. The centreline space might be narrow, but at least it's long, so you could fit a long, Tornado-style tandem pylon there with two, or maybe even three stations in tandem, which is a very low drag solution. I don't think you can put corner pylons behind the u/c bays because that area of skin is mostly non-structural engine bay doors, but I think you could put a pair of short pylons under the intakes which would be ideal for targeting or ECM pods.

The Vigilante's wing has loads of room for extra pylons. You could get at least one, and possibly two more outboard of the existing ones, and even if you don't beef up the wing structure to increase the total pylon capacity, and just spread the capacity around more pylons, you've still got 6000lb under each wing, which is plenty.

Your point about the Phantom and the Vigilante both having J-79s is well made: there would be a real advantage there. If the RAN had J-79 engined Super-Tigers, that would be an even more perfect fit.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 04:31:40 PM by Weaver »
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Offline elmayerle

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The A-5's linear bomb bay already had fuel tankage in it, two fuel tanks as well as the munitions store.  There was a refueling system developed to replace the munitions with a hose and drogue unit; there's even a photo of one refueling another which is also refueling a third.  It wouldn't be that difficult to develop dedicated KA-5's to support the A-5/RA-5/EA-5 fleet in extending range.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Another option to play with might be more Grumman products...

For Instance, the Grumman Hellcat as a WWII fighter (on both speculative RAN carriers and land based), or perhaps a Bearcat/Tigercat combo?

Post war, move onto the Grumman Panther (actually considered in real life) or better yet Cougar (maybe Avon/Sapphire engined?) or even better, the Tiger (already essentially Sapphire engined given the Wright J65 is a development of the Sapphire).  This could then lead to the J79 powered Super Tiger...maybe used in conjunction with F-4 Phantoms in a HI/LO arrangement?  Either way, both RAN and RAAF could keep commonality.

Of course, the Super Tigers eventually get replaced by F-14s (maybe in my favoured F/A-14 arrangement).  This might necessitate a new largish carrier design in the late '70s/early '80s.

Supporting the F/A-14 might be a operational development of the X-29...

Complimenting the above fighters would be products such as:

Grumman E-1 Tracer
Grumman S-2 Tracker - already a real world platform.
Grumman E-2 Hawkeye
Grumman C-2 Greyhound
Grumman OV-1 Mohawk

A CAC-Grumman partnership also offers a number of civilian products too.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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I would like to see the ADF being more geared to an Israeli-like mentality of appreciating and learning from one’s own and others combat experience and military trends, as opposed to the reality of Australia’s near subservient follower of American and British trend setting.

I would caution against people putting the Israeli Defence Force (and by default their equipment) into some sort of 'ideal' example.  The mythology of the Israeli preeminence as a fighting force is just that, a myth!  If anything, it is simply an example of a force fighting for their lives surrounded by less than competent enemies.  Moreover, having had a bit to do with some of their equipment/companies/operating methodologies in recent years I wouldn't necessarily rate them any better than their US or other counterparts...often worse.

Moreover, when you talk about Australia following the US/UK trends, maybe you should also look to what Israel has done...I don't see them being so different or for that matter using anything different in terms of equipment.

Quote
The psyche that first Britain, and then, as now, the United States would come and save us in time of crisis/war.

Hmmm...I somehow think the various Israeli wars (eg. 1973 Yom Kippur War) might have been slightly different if the US in particular hadn't been willing to supply equipment.
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Offline Weaver

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The A-5's linear bomb bay already had fuel tankage in it, two fuel tanks as well as the munitions store.  There was a refueling system developed to replace the munitions with a hose and drogue unit; there's even a photo of one refueling another which is also refueling a third.  It wouldn't be that difficult to develop dedicated KA-5's to support the A-5/RA-5/EA-5 fleet in extending range.

Yes I know, but they don't fit efficiently in the available space because they have to be able to fit in a long tube that extends through sever fuselage frames and slide out backwards. If you had rectilinear bag tanks fitted between the frames, that extended to the corners of the available volume, you'd have significantly more fuel.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Hmmm...I wonder about a linear bombbay that still ejects conventional munitions out the back?
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Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
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Hmmm...I wonder about a linear bombbay that still ejects conventional munitions out the back?

Very inflexible.

If you only want to drop one out your three bombs, the CofG moves forwards.

If you want to drop a new bomb that's an inch wider (that maybe you didn't design), tough.

If you want to launch a missile, it pretty much has to be specially designed for your aircraft.

If you want to carry a recce pack instead: tough.
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Offline Kelmola

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I would like to see the ADF being more geared to an Israeli-like mentality of appreciating and learning from one’s own and others combat experience and military trends, as opposed to the reality of Australia’s near subservient follower of American and British trend setting.
Israel-like mentality? As in "we've been denied Mirages, so let's make a knockoff copy (Nesher) and then jury-rig it with J79 (Kfir) because those are all we can have"? Or "we made a light fighter cheaper than F-16 but almost as capable (Lavi), but let's not manufacture it at all since our main weapons supplier told not to because it would eat into their market"?

It's more like Israel has always had to make do with whatever is available rather than having a free choice, and the last few decades only the US has been willing to sell them equipment with no strings attached regarding their deployment (yet direct competition with US equipment by local industry is still frowned upon).

Online The Big Gimper

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Hmmm...I wonder about a linear bombbay that still ejects conventional munitions out the back?


Very inflexible.

If you only want to drop one out your three bombs, the CofG moves forwards.

If you want to drop a new bomb that's an inch wider (that maybe you didn't design), tough.

If you want to launch a missile, it pretty much has to be specially designed for your aircraft.

If you want to carry a recce pack instead: tough.


The RA-5C had for its Nuclear strike role a linear bomb bay.





The technical issue was that the Vigilante wasn't looking very promising in the strike role anyway. The linear bomb bay scheme sounded nice on paper, but it was a nightmare in practice. The bomb bay tube ran up the fuselage between the engines, and since it was much longer the nuclear store, expendable fuel tanks were tacked on in the rear of the store. During a strike, the entire assembly was popped out the tail with an explosive cartridge driving it down launch rails. Not only did the scheme prove unreliable, the store also tended to "draft" behind the aircraft, preventing the pilot from laying it down accurately. The linear bomb bay would never actually be used for weapons delivery in practice.

And here is what happens it falls out while taking off: “Ah…605, I BELIEVE YOU LEFT A TANK BEHIND”
« Last Edit: May 08, 2016, 09:00:02 AM by The Big Gimper »
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

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Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
I am sure the problem of the nuclear weapon "being dragged along" could have been solved relatively easily with some drag inducing devices on the weapon.   As for "accuracy" it all depends on what sort you're looking for.  If it is pin-point accuracy, I don't think that will ever be achieved.  City-busting accuracy, could be easily achieved.  The USN was looking for the former, not the latter.  The RAAF would like it but as the primary job of the RA-5C would be destroying Indonesian or Chinese cities, I think they'd accept the limitations inherent in the design.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 09:07:49 AM by Rickshaw »

Offline M.A.D

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Rickshaw
Mate, I had the opportunity to speak to a couple of highly regarded RAEME guru’s yesterday, regarding the Panhard EBR and the feasibility of relocating its engine, and how it might affect its differential arrangement between its four sets of wheels’ arrangement!
Both agreed, that it wouldn’t be much of a technical issue to move the engine and gearbox rearward, as the vehicle wasn’t amphibious, its CG wasn’t a fundamental issue! In fact, they agreed that by moving the engine to the rear, as I proposed, the complication of the four driveshafts could probably be eliminated and a simpler arrangement could be applied. They also made note of the cooling arrangement and crew comfort would be substantially improved, with a rear-mounted engine arrangement, with separating firewall!

Greg, I enquired into your suggestion of adopting the German Sd.Kfz. 234 8x8 armoured car. One of the RAEME guru’s, made note of an issue he states that they’ve had with the LAV-25/ASLAV series, that he might envisage with a ‘Conon 75mm SA50’ gun armed Sd.Kfz. 234, being that of a disproportionate ‘top-heavy CG’, when operating over harsh open terrain, like that found up North! It was interesting that he noted this ‘top-heavy CG’ with the LAV’s because the American adoption of the vehicle elected to use smaller diameter wheels, as opposed to the larger wheels of the original MOWAG Piranha 8x8 it was based on! (interesting and duly noted, as I’ve operated in LAV’s over the years!). But saying this he admits he’s no expert on the Sd.Kfz. 234!

So at this stage, the Panhard EBR is looking a good option for this Alternative ADF ORBAT, for this given timeframe, with the following modifications/incorporations:
- The original EBR’s four inner metal wheels are replaced with four additional rubber tyres, as used on the main-drive wheels.
- Paramount to the selection of the Panhard EBR, by the Australian Army, was the designs capability to be modified to have its engine relocated, so as to give far better and sensible access for maintenance and replacement in the field. To achieve this, Panhard, in cooperation with the Australian Directorate of Armoured Fighting Vehicles Production, redesigned, built, and tested two ‘modified EBR’s to validate the designs capability to meet the Australian Army’s requirements, before it committed to contract and licences-production in Australia.
-To relocate and accommodate the new diesel engine [engine type/design still to be decided!] to the rear chassis and body area required the complete elimination of the rear drivers compartment and steering gear.
Other modifications and incorporation included-
-Attachments for external long-range fuel tanks;
-Attachment points for water Jerry Can’s
-The incorporation of the longer barrels, higher velocity ‘Conon 75mm SA50’ gun, which offered superior anti-tank capability.

P.S. As both a side note and of some relevance to this Alternative ADF ORBAT, I might have finally made some headway in obtaining more information and a contact re Australian Army’s ‘Project Waler’ of 1970-80’s! Which I'm very excited about!!

M.A.D



Offline M.A.D

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Apophenia
Re Reply #3
I too enquired as to these RAEME guru’s input regarding the Daimler-Benz MB 507C 12-cylinder liquid-cooled diesel engine. They said that if the MB 507 was stereo-typically anything like the MTU MB 838, that they’d worked on with the Leopard’s, then they’d support the notion of reverse engineering it! One concern they brought up, was our then experience (re metal ergie) with aluminium casting. But saying this he would like to think that if the program was deemed so nationalistically important, we should have been able to meet the challenge! Which is reassuring! So perhaps this is our diesel engine for our re-engined Centurion tanks, what with 800hp and all that toque?

M.A.D

Offline apophenia

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M.A.D: I haven't found a great deal of info on the MB 507. I wonder if it had steel cylinder inserts? That would certainly simplify casting the aluminium block.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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It's more like Israel has always had to make do with whatever is available rather than having a free choice, and the last few decades only the US has been willing to sell them equipment with no strings attached regarding their deployment (yet direct competition with US equipment by local industry is still frowned upon).

Rubbish!  Israel has certainly not been lacking for choice of weapons.  And as for "strings attached", there are always strings attached no matter who sells!
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Offline GTX_Admin

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an issue he states that they’ve had with the LAV-25/ASLAV series, that he might envisage with a ‘Conon 75mm SA50’ gun armed Sd.Kfz. 234, being that of a disproportionate ‘top-heavy CG’, when operating over harsh open terrain, like that found up North!


I suppose it really depends upon the role you want the vehicle to take.  Personally, I believe a version derived from the Sd.Kfz. 234/2 with 50mm cannon would be more than sufficient for most encounters.  If you want to give it more anti-tank punch, maybe equip it with an early ATGM.




In fact, the Sd.Kfz. 234/1 with 20mm cannon would probably suffice as well - same solution re tanks.


« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 03:34:40 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline finsrin

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Modernized Sd.Kfz. 234 with 21st century armament, sensors, armor, engine could be built 1/35 if not 1/1.

Offline M.A.D

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I haven't forgotten this Post! Still working away at it, with some appreciated support and cooperation of fellow forum members!!

M.A.D

Offline M.A.D

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Its a sad sad day  :(
My Word document of forty odd pages of my of Alternative ADF ORBAT backstory and supporting information has been corrupted :o
So much effort and so much work ........Ahhhhhhh Frustrating!!!!!

My apologies to all those who have thus far contributed and supported me! I will have to contact forum members and request you send me these profiles again  :-[
Back to the drawing board :(

M.A.D

Offline finsrin

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Uh Oh,,, Now the Russians are meddling in your computer !

Offline tankmodeler

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An early 60s SdKfz 234 built by the Swedes in the 50s and sold to Australia, could work. New diesel engine, modified 57mm/6 pdr in the turret and a couple of SS-11s on a rack on the turret as part of a scouting/tank hunting force in the Aussie Northern territories in the mid-late 60s.

??

Paul

Offline M.A.D

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Thank's for the idea tankmodeler / Paul
My notion of less alliance and dependence on the Britain/U.S. would have the ADF being more open to alternative options, if it meets their needs/requirements!

M.A.D

Offline M.A.D

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SITREP

Ok, after being very down on my hard and enjoyable efforts (more than six months of work, research and numerous assistance of talented profilers from this website) being lost, I think I'm getting my mojo back.
I was really wanting to do my 'Alternative ADF ORBAT' backstory all in one.
But I'm now I'm seriously considering posting the backstory in smaller segments, thanks to the kind efforts and talent s like your Mark (jonesthetank)!

M.A.D

Offline M.A.D

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Ok, it's been far to long since I've visited this  :(
As I've conveyed, I lost 80% of my backstory due to a computer crash, but I'm in the process of reconfiguring my story!!

As an acknowledgement of the amazing profile work this forums members have been so generous in supporting me, I'm posting some edited profiles to tantalize!!

First off work by dy031101 - Thank you Donny for your talent  :P


M.A.D

« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 03:20:39 PM by M.A.D »

Offline M.A.D

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The exceptional work of CiTrus90, thank you Luca for your contribution  :P

M.A.D

Offline M.A.D

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The exquisite detailed work of scorchio  :P

Thank you my friend for your patients and countless modifications to my requests!



M.A.D
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 04:40:44 AM by M.A.D »

Offline ScranJ51

  • Fast Jet, Fast Prop, Fast Racing Cars - thats me!!
so - when will we all see your ORBAT?    8)
Fast Jet, Fast Prop, Fast Racing Cars - thats me!!

Offline M.A.D

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so - when will we all see your ORBAT?    8)

Thanks for your interest ScranJ51
Im hoping to begin posting at the beginning of February my friend. :-[

Fortunately for me, generous forum members have graciously stepped forward and have been doing more and more specialised/tailored profiles pertaining to my backstory, which Im confident that you'll undoubtedly agree are well worth the wait, when you see them!  :P

M.A.D

     

Offline M.A.D

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G'day gents

Ok, I have another question pertaining to my on going Alternative Australian Defence Force Order of Battle

Quote
“During 1960, the RAAF started the process of evaluating a replacement for the CA-27 Sabre. Whilst the F-104G was a contender, the ultimate choice was for the Mirage IIIE. Dassault had experimentally built an Avon engined Mirage and had investigated air-air refuelling for it, however the final decision was to stay with the standard IIIE.  The variant was dubbed the Mirage IIIO, “O” being for “Orstralian”. The initial order was placed in late 1961.”

(Source: GAMD (CAC built CA-29) Mirage IIIO https://hars.org.au/gamd-cac-built-ca-29-mirage-iiio/ )

Now thank's to the amazing skills and talents of CiTrus90, I'm very excited to say that we (well Luca) have the
Quote
Avon engined Mirage
issue squared away  :P
But what I would like to lean on the forum's vast knowledge is in regards to 'Dassault's investigated air-air refuelling for the Avon engined Mirage IIIO'. Does anyone have any knowledge of what flight refuelling probe Dassault was investigating; or failing this, would anyone like to have an educated guess as to what flight refuelling probe Dassault might have come up with?  :-\

1/ a Mirage F1 fixed-nose mounted probe arrangement. (Can anyone enlighten me please as to when the fixed-nose mounted probe arrangement was incorporated into the Mirage !!!/Mirage 5 series, for the sake of time frame?);
 
2/ a starboard fixed externally fuselage plumbed probe arrangement as used on Israeli and South African derivatives of the Mirage - Kfir and Cheetah; oh and the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk of course?

3/ a wing leading edge-type flight refuelling probe - eg de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen and North American FJ-2/3 Fury?'

4/ a drop tank mounted probe arrangement as utilised by many early carrier-based fighter-bombers - eg Douglas F4D-1 Skyray?

Ok, now saying this, if flight-refuelling wasn't permissible in 1961, when in real-world terms, that the Australian government/RAAF ordered the Mirage III, if I was to later upgrade my Mirage IIIO's with a flight-refuelling capability, which would be the most easiest and cost effective means of doing this - 1/,2/, 3/ or 4/?

P.S. I think it might be worth a go contacting and asking Dassault itself about this!

Keenly awaiting your reply and input  :P 


M.A.D
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 04:34:24 PM by M.A.D »

Offline elmayerle

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Note that option 4 is also used on some F-16's.  Personally, I'd reckon option 1 as the most likely, followed by option 2.

Offline Old Wombat

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If I recall correctly that F-4 set-up was used to refuel ex-USAF F-4's rigged for boom IFR, as the Israelis were using probe-&-drogue IFR at the time.
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline GTX_Admin

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what I would like to lean on the forum's vast knowledge is in regards to 'Dassault's investigated air-air refuelling for the Avon engined Mirage IIIO'. Does anyone have any knowledge of what flight refuelling probe Dassault was investigating; or failing this, would anyone like to have an educated guess as to what flight refuelling probe Dassault might have come up with?  :-\


Well, if you want the very first Dassault Mirage III with refuelling probe you would actually be looking at the Mirage IIIB-2(RV) inflight refueling trainers with dummy nose probes:



 ;)

That not what you were after though obviously, so going back to your original subject:

Dassault had experimentally built an Avon engined Mirage and had investigated air-air refuelling for it, however the final decision was to stay with the standard IIIE. 


I came across the following statement whilst researching:

Quote
the RAAF asked Dassault not to equip the Mirage IIIO with single-point pressure refueling, on the basis that pressure refueling facilities would not be available at forward operating airfields. This decision had long term consequences, because even if the RAAF had later sought to modify the Mirage for air-to-air refueling, it could not be done easily as there was no single-point pressure refueling manifold within the Mirage into which to tap an air-to-air refueling probe.


Interestingly though I cannot find any mention of an aerial refuelling capability in one of the best references for the Australian Mirages - "The RAAF Mirage Story" by WGCDR M. R Susans.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline M.A.D

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Thanks gents for your replies!

Greg, nice find re 
Quote
Mirage IIIB-2(RV) inflight refueling trainers with dummy nose probes
, but as you so correctly denote
Quote
That not what you were after though obviously
, as it obviously effects radar placement and operation  ;)

Yeah, really interesting and unfortunate re
Quote
the RAAF asked Dassault not to equip the Mirage IIIO with single-point pressure refueling, on the basis that pressure refueling facilities would not be available at forward operating airfields. This decision had long term consequences, because even if the RAAF had later sought to modify the Mirage for air-to-air refueling, it could not be done easily as there was no single-point pressure refueling manifold within the Mirage into which to tap an air-to-air refueling probe.
. The RAAF in hhindsight bit off their nose to spite their face  :-\

M. A. D

Offline M.A.D

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G'day gent’s

Im just putting it out there, but what is the realistic consensus/notion of the likes of the RAAF F-111C fleet being modernised in the mid to late 1980’s, with the utilisation of existing, more modern, more advanced, and more reliable systems and avionics like the following:

-replacing the F-111’s the AN/APQ-113 attack radar and the AN/APQ-110 terrain-following radar with that of the Texas Instruments TF/TA radar, Decca Type 72 doppler navigation radar and BAE Systems FIN1010 three-axis digital INS systems from the Panavia Tornado IDS?

-installing a modified electrical, triplexed fly-by wire system, with electrical and mechanical back-up modes; Command Stability Augmentation System (CSAS) systems from the Panavia Tornado IDS ?

-incorporating the automatic wing sweep system of either the Panavia Tornado IDS or Grumman F-14 Tomcat, so as to make the F-111C's flight profile more efficient and minimise the pilots workload?

-replacement of the underpowered and unreliable Pratt & Whitney TF-30 turbofan with General Electric F110 turbofan engines?

-obviously, the flawed and manpower intensive (not to mention the dangerous OH&S aspect) main internal fuel tank arrangement needs to be replaced in the RAAF's F-111C's; can anyone suggest a replacement arrangement, which doesn't require maintenance crews to enter such dangerous confined space, so as to scrub this fuel tank? [Please note,I've only ever heard of RAAF doing this, did the USAF conduct such similar 'entry and scrubbing' of its F-111 fleets main fuel tanks??]

Now Im thinking the use of off-the-shelf systems such as the Texas Instruments TF/TA radar, Decca Type 72 doppler navigation radar and BAE Systems FIN1010 three-axis digital INS system, fly-by wire system, the Command Stability Augmentation System (CSAS) and the GE F110’s are all matured and R&D paid for, so I would be hoping that much of the cost/time/risk will be in the actual upgrade process, re-programming of the fly-by wire system to incorporate the flight characteristics of the F-111, as opposed to the Tornado IDS…..

I also understand that the changing from hydraulic to electric actuators will be a substantially technical and a physical undertaking, but as I envisage this ‘update’ as a ‘mid-life update’, the aircraft are going to be stripped right down anyway for engineering lifespan appraisal, amendments and structural replacement processes…..

I also appreciate that the USAF/General Electric seriously committed some time and effort into the ‘real-world’ study of the USAF’s F-111’s being fitted with GE F101 DFE (F110’s), but the end of the Cold War put an end to the F-111 in their service. Add to this is the ‘real-world’ USN/Grumman/General Electric modifying and fitting of a number of Grumman F-14’s with GE F110, which they designated as F-14A(Plus)’s and later F-14B’s, so such a task isn't without studying and practical engineering, nor risky!

I would like to also emphasis that in my Alternative ADF ORBAT’ the F-111 is regarded by the ADF and politician’s alike, as a fundimental strategic asset of deterrents, and not ‘an add hock political toy of yesteryear, without a real mission/role’!, It is for this reason, along with the realisation that there isn’t another aircraft able to replace it, that the RAAF and government alike are willing to take both extensive time and money to not just keep the F-111 in service but also ensure its combat effective.

So what does forum members think? Doable?
Also, I'm open to any other suggestions re systems upgrades - ECM, RWR, etc....


M.A.D
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 07:45:54 AM by M.A.D »

Offline tankmodeler

  • Wisely picking parts of the real universe 2 ignore
Replacing the avionics is probably possible (if not all, then most) as long as there is sufficient power available.

As long as the engine change can be managed in terms of structural interfaces to the fuselage, it seems that it should be possible.

Installing a triplexed fly by wire system with electrical actuators everywhere, though, doesn't look doable at even the "mid-life" update level of rework. I think it's just too extensive in terms of managing all the changes while not wholesale changing the fundamental structure of the aircraft.

I mean _anything_ is possible with enough money, but I think going electrical fly by wire mid-life is waaaaay past the cost-effectiveness point in the curve. I don't think the benefits would be worth the vast cost.

Paul

Offline elmayerle

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Engine change is quite plausible (I've seen the Ft. Worth design studies) so that's a go.  Replacing avionics where suitable and a wholsale "pull and replace" on the wiring probably would be useful, both to deal with the changed out avionics and with changes that creep in over time.  If you don't mind a bit more effort and a slight reduction in clean top speed, replace the troublesome variable inlets with fixed ones (I'm leaning toward ones scaled up from those on the Super Hornet for my conversions).  I have to agree, though, that for an MLU, converting to fly-by-wire and electric actuators does not seem cost effective and seems rather expensive.  Now, I can see looking whether there are better OTS components out there that would improve system efficiency and/or reliability.

Side thought: It wouldn't be the easiest job to plumb, but consider added a probe and drogue refueling capability similar to what was proposed for the F-111K in addition to the flying boom receptacle.  Being able to tank from anyone might end up being a lifesaver for some crew.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 03:59:08 AM by elmayerle »

Offline GTX_Admin

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-replacing the F-111’s the AN/APQ-113 attack radar and the AN/APQ-110 terrain-following radar with that of the Texas Instruments TF/TA radar, Decca Type 72 doppler navigation radar and BAE Systems FIN1010 three-axis digital INS systems from the Panavia Tornado IDS?

-installing a modified electrical, triplexed fly-by wire system, with electrical and mechanical back-up modes; Command Stability Augmentation System (CSAS) systems from the Panavia Tornado IDS?

Well the F-111Cs did undergo the real life Avionics Upgrade Program (AUP) in the 1990s which involved  primarily upgrading to digital avionics. This included twin mission computers, modern digital databus, digital weapon management system, new AN/APQ-171 terrain-following radar, new AN/APQ-169 attack radar, and twin ring-laser gyro INS.  I am sure that anything you have suggested was considered.  Now whether it was considered necessary 10yrs earlier is up for debate.  I doubt the need was there though.  The F-111 was performing very well and I doubt switching to Tornado systems would have conferred any performance improvement.  As i was the eventual AUP was more about supportability than capability.

-replacement of the underpowered and unreliable Pratt & Whitney TF-30 turbofan with General Electric F110 turbofan engines?

Please note that the RAAf did not have an issue with the performance of the TF-30 in the F-111.  It was certainly not underpowered considering the F-111C was the fastest platform (Mach 2.5) the RAAF has ever operated.  Moreover, I have it on good authority that the F-111 powered by the TF30-P109 variant even went supersonic with one engine shut down and may have well exceeded the 'brochure' speed in trials...

I was involved in looking at replacing the TF30s with GE110s in the early 2000's and whilst possible it just didn't make economic sense given the life of type.  It could have conceivably occurred in the -80s but realistically only if the USAF also did it.  Perhaps in conjunction with the F-14 also being re-engined as such.  That said, I will reiterate again that the TF30 was never deemed a problem for the F-111.

All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline M.A.D

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Thank you elmayerle and GTX for your informative replies!
I've just revisited and revised my initial question, so could I ask you to both re read it and if applicable re reply please?

elmayerle, is there any chance I could see a copy of that
Quote
Ft. Worth design studies
please?, so that I could incorporate some of the facts in my backstory.
Also,I hear and like your analogy regarding the flight refuelling plumbing and receptor, although this is another fundamentally 'real-world' issue that I've put emphasis in fixing!

GTX I full heartedly appreciate and take on-board you practical knowledge and experience with the F-111 in RAAF service mate.
Greg, in your opinion and knowledge, was the 'real-world'
Quote
Avionics Upgrade Program (AUP) of the 1990s
able/mature enough to have been done say in the late 1980's or am I pushing the technological boundaries?

In terms of replacing the TF-30's I was aiming for a better fuel efficiency, lower maintenance man hours, and the acknowledged fact that with the GE F110's, operationally, my F-111's would be able to operate in the realms of dry thrust to achieve given performances, which would otherwise require the use of afterburners to achieve the same performances - hence I'm thinking a net financial saving in fuel and maintenance costs for the duration of the F-111 in RAAF service life ~ 2025-2030.
I'm just looking at the statistic for F-14A(Plus)/F-14B and F110-GE-400 combination -
Quote
The F110-GE-400 engines are much more fuel efficient and give the F-14A(PLUS) sixty percent more range, 33 percent more time on station and a 61 percent improvement in rate of climb.
, and I cant help but wonder what capability improvement can be achieved with the F-111 with something like 60% more range! less reliance on airborne refuelling, ability to attack from different angles of the compass, have a better chance of out running the advanced threat like the Flanker..... 


Greg, I'd also appreciate your input regards your personal experience / knowledge
Quote
in looking at replacing the TF30s with GE110s in the early 2000's
if possible?


M.A.D
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 08:07:22 PM by M.A.D »

Offline elmayerle

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Sorry, I saw those studies while I was working there and didn't get opportunity to copy them.  Timeframe when they were done would have been 1988, IIRC.  There were no major structural issues involved in the engine replacement, mostly those changes required for the different engine mounts.  As I understand it, the AUP incorporated the best aspects of the modernization programs developed by the USAF to bring all of their F-111s, FB-111s, and EF-111s up to a common equipment fit standard; that definitely needs to go along with the other changes we are discussing here and would probably encompass the wholesale wire harness replacement I mentioned (on the V-22, that's part of a common nacelle replacement program for the USMC that aims to bring all aircraft to a common configuration and do away with excess wiring that's accumulated over time as boxes and systems get replaced).

Offline M.A.D

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Replacing the avionics is probably possible (if not all, then most) as long as there is sufficient power available.

As long as the engine change can be managed in terms of structural interfaces to the fuselage, it seems that it should be possible.

Installing a triplexed fly by wire system with electrical actuators everywhere, though, doesn't look doable at even the "mid-life" update level of rework. I think it's just too extensive in terms of managing all the changes while not wholesale changing the fundamental structure of the aircraft.

I mean _anything_ is possible with enough money, but I think going electrical fly by wire mid-life is waaaaay past the cost-effectiveness point in the curve. I don't think the benefits would be worth the vast cost.

Paul

Thanks tankmodeler/Paul for your feedback and input my friend.
Ive just stumbled across an article pertaining to the Saudi Air Force's new F-15SA variant, which talks about the Saudi's incorporating "a modern fly-by-wire flight control system in place of the hybrid electronic/mechanical system used by all previous F-15s."
(Source: https://thaimilitaryandasianregion.wordpress.com/2017/01/26/f-15sa-saudi-advanced/

Add to this

"
Quote
Also included are the upgrade of the existing Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) fleet of seventy (70) F-
15S multi-role fighters to the F-15SA configuration
"
(Source: https://thaimilitaryandasianregion.wordpress.com/2017/01/26/f-15sa-saudi-advanced/)

Add to this, as I've reiterated in my main question, in my 'Alternative ADF ORBAT', the Australian government and ADF place the F-111 as a critical component of their deterrents, so maybe the money spent will be feasible :o

M.A.D


Offline tankmodeler

  • Wisely picking parts of the real universe 2 ignore
Add to this, as I've reiterated in my main question, in my 'Alternative ADF ORBAT', the Australian government and ADF place the F-111 as a critical component of their deterrents, so maybe the money spent will be feasible
Well, like I said, anything is possible if you're willing to spend the money on it.

Remember, Australia had 24 F-111s. Saudi Arabia is amortising their development costs out over over 100 aircraft. For Australia, those costs would be going into just 24 airframes. And remember, one of the largest portions of the development cost would be developing, testing and verifying that the software controlling the fly-by-wire system actually worked properly. This is an oft forgotten, yet huge part of any digital upgrade.

So doing all of that for 24 airframes, yeah, it's possible, but I bet it would run into the $billions. Just for the software and test phases.

It's up to you to decide whether any Australian government could pay that price. It's your world, after all. :-D

Paul

Offline GTX_Admin

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The last point captures the biggest issue with this - something that we found with the proposed re-engine of the fleet in the early 2000's.  Australia relied heavily on the support provided by the USAF.  When the USAF retired their fleet in the mid-late 1990s the days were numbered for the RAAF fleet.  It was simply too small as a sole operator to remain economically viable.  Even doing something earlier (such as the 1980s as postulated by this scenario) would be economically difficult unless the USAF were also doing similar or unless there was some other program to help.  Thereof, nothing against the basic premise but one will need to include something such as one of the following into the backstory to make this viable:

  • USAF also decides to update fleet as proposed - thus allowing RAAF to piggy back off this;
  • RAAF has or acquires much larger fleet (80 - 100 airframe in active ops) so as to make economics of going alone viable; or
  • RAAF has something such as F-14 also in service thus allowing a potential joint fleet program for the engine at least

The last two were used in a combined fashion in my Greater Australia story where I had both the large RAAF/RAN F-111 and F-14 fleets using the GE110 as shown below:




All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline M.A.D

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G’day to all once again

As per my continued research into my ‘Alternative ADF ORBAT' backstory, I’m currently trying to ascertain the costs of the systems/platforms. For example, Australia paid an average of $1,665,000.00 per Atar 9C-powered Mirage IIIO(F) (Source: ADF-SERIALS - Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History)

Does anyone have any information/idea how much Australia paid for its second batch of Mirage IIIO(A)’s?, what with its Cyrano II dual mode air / ground radar; a radar warning receiver(RWR) system, a radar altimeters and it’s Doppler navigation radar....

The cost of the Lockheed F-104G Starfighter in 1961/62?

The 1961/62 cost of the Rolls Royce RB146 Avon 67 turbojet; SNECMA Atar 9C and General Electric J-79

I've spent last last couple of evenings going though my library and the web to no avail 😞

M.A.D

Offline apophenia

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The '60s unit cost for an F-104G was around USD 1M (AUD 0.89M). Unit cost for a J79-GE-3 in 1961 was USD 624,727 (AUD 557,791).
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline M.A.D

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The '60s unit cost for an F-104G was around USD 1M (AUD 0.89M). Unit cost for a J79-GE-3 in 1961 was USD 624,727 (AUD 557,791).

Thank you very much apophenia
Can I enquire as to your source for referencing please?


M.A.D

Offline apophenia

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  • Patterns? What patterns?
Can I enquire as to your source for referencing please?

Erm ... random detritus from my heap of a filing 'system'  :-[
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline M.A.D

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Can I enquire as to your source for referencing please?

Erm ... random detritus from my heap of a filing 'system'  :-[

Thanks mate!!


M.A.D